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Latvian report Latvian report
by Euro Reporter
2011-11-04 07:41:41
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Latvians in language vote

Signatures are being collected in Latvia in support of the demand that the Russian language be given an official status in this former Soviet Baltic republic. The Central Elections Commission ordered the polling stations to be opened after the first 12,000 signatures in favour of changing the constitution and granting Russian an official language status had been collected.

To become a law the initiative needs to garner at least 150,000 votes in the next month or see the matter taken up by the national legislature. If the MPs vote it down, the matter will be decided by a nationwide referendum. Russian-speakers make up a hefty 40 percent of the Latvian population.


Former Interior Minister might be detained in connection with highly classified criminal process

Former Latvian Interior Minister Dzintars Jaundzeikars (Latvia's First Party/Latvia's Way), who was detained this morning by the Corruption Prevention Bureau (CPB) apparently has been detained as part of a highly classified criminal process. The CPB confirms that it has detained a former official ''in connection with a highly classified criminal process." However, in the interest of the investigation, the CPB will release no further information at the moment.
As reported, Jaundzeikars' telephone was switched off when LETA attempted to call him earlier today; whilst one of Latvia's First Party/Latvia's Way's leaders Andris Ameriks told LETA that he does not have any information on Jaundzeikars' detention. On the other hand, when LETA attempted to call Jaundzeikars' farm, a woman answered and said that he has become ill and is not available for comment.
The woman did not confirm or deny that Jaundzeikars has been detained. Law enforcement institutions in Latvia are independent, and they do not have to coordinate their actions with the government, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity) told members of the press today, after he was asked to comment on the detention of former Latvian Interior Minister Dzintars Jaundzeikars (Latvia's First Party/Latvia's Way).

Latvia will have to amend 100 laws to introduce euro

In order to introduce the euro, the government will have to amend and adjust around 100 laws, Finance Ministry's state secretary Sanita Bajare told reporters yesterday. The necessary laws and regulations are already being established, said Bajare and explained that, when amending and adjusting them, tax rates will not "rounded up"
"The state will show by example and will not round them up," emphasized Bajare.
Bajare also confirmed that the state does not plan any particular compensating mechanisms to, for example, businessmen, who will have to deal with additional expenses to adjust their data systems to the euro, since, overall, the euro will bring many positive gains to the country's economy. The introduction of the euro will affect all residents; therefore they will be duly informed. It is planned that, in January 2014; the residents will be able to make payments both – in lats and Euros. For half a year, there will be no extra fee for converting lats to Euros.
If the money is deposited in a bank, it will be automatically converted to euro, according to the Bank of Latvia's exchange rate. If Latvia fulfils the required criteria, the country could be invited to join the eurozone in the summer of 2013.

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